This helmet shows distinctive features of the Corinthian type. It was modeled from a thin sheet of bronze, probably cast and then hammered when cold. The skull is perfectly rounded, while the outline near the forehead is more linear. The front represents a stylized face with horizontal, wide almond-shaped openings for the eyes, divided in the centre by the nose protector and a long slit that separates the cheek pieces and partially reveals the mouth. Above the eyes there is a ridge that draws two arches imitating the eyebrows. Here the eyebrows and the palmette between them are rendered in relief. In addition, the helmet is unusually adorned with its original bovine horns and ears.
During the Archaic period bronze helmets known as Corinthian became a key component of the panoply for Greek infantrymen, the renowned hoplites. Appearing around 700 BC., when they were already depicted on painted pottery, Corinthian helmets were the most common type in the Greek mainland and were equally popular in Western Greek colonies as well. Many known examples come from the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia where they were offered as votive gifts in thanks for victory in battle. Helmets adorned with long horns and bovine ears are quite rare and were obviously meant to terrify the opponent in battle.
Available Upon Request
York, on loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from January 1999 to April
P. Stary, “Italische Helme des 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr.” in: J. Swaddling (ed.), Italian Iron Age Artefacts in the British Museum, Papers of the Sixth British Museum Classical Colloquium (London 1986).
R. Hixenbaugh, Ancient Greek Helmets: A Complete Guide and Catalogue (New Jersey 2019).
R. Hixenbaugh, Ancient Greek Helmets: A Complete Guide and Catalogue (New Jersey 2019) p. 444, illustrated.